Veteran NPR and PBS Journalist & Author, Latino Americans
In September 2017, veteran journalist Ray Suarez began an appointment as the McCloy Visiting Professor of American Studies at Amherst College. He was most recently the host of Al Jazeera America’s daily news program, Inside Story. The program covered a wide array of national and international news stories, from the rise of Donald Trump to long-term unemployment to the Russian seizure of the Crimean peninsula to the arrival of the zika virus on US soil. Read More >
How Latino Americans Shaped the U.S., Fought for Acceptance
Cover America Like a Foreign Country
The Impact of Religion in Politics
The Next America
Truth vs Feelings
The US Census Bureau projects that sometime in the mid-2040s a majority of Americans will trace their ancestry to Africa, Asia, and Latin America rather than to Europe. You might have predicted one kind of cultural shift in November, 2008 when Barack Obama was elected, and find yourself anticipating a different march to that next America today, with President Trump in the Oval Office. Americans under- and oversell how the country will change when this historic shift occurs. I’ll take you on a tour of that next America, and how we get there.
Who do you believe? How do you make up your mind what’s happening in the country? For much of the last century, the American news business was a model for the rest of the world. American reporting was diverse, free, unregulated and guided by an evolving set of professional norms that gave it great credibility. What happened? Public confidence in the news business has cratered, and a parallel business has risen to become its rival, filled with invention, lies, distortion and the quiet goal of sowing confusion and continuing doubt that what is reported is true. It’s been a surprising, and destructive march from The Pentagon Papers to Woodward and Bernstein to the Wild West of information.
Every year, 100,000 new cases of colon cancer are diagnosed, sending people’s lives into a whirlwind as they begin treatment and come to terms with their illness. Ray Suarez’s cancer diagnosis propelled him through a cycle of emotions. Anger, sadness, tranquility and dissociation made Suarez wonder if the mind and body were connected. Did his life really belong to him? Suarez grappled with these questions and thoughts as he asserted himself over a disease that seemed impossible to control. In this honest and vulnerable talk, he shares his cancer journey and survivorship, inspiring audiences to reevaluate the meaning of life.
Americans are, and have been for generations, the most religious people in the wealthy, industrial West. But with each new year, more Americans are dropping away from congregational and religious affiliation, and they’re doing it as a speed never before seen in our history. What’s happening inside American religion? Is this is a blip, or just a delayed trip to where our European cousins have been for decades? A more secular America will force changes in our politics, our culture, our charitable sector, and not least…a big change in who we think we are as a people.
The opening shot in the 2020 Elections came in the first week of November, 2018 with the historic midterm elections. What did the balloting tell us about the shape of the knock-down, drag-out fight for the White House next time around? In a challenging, and humorous way, we’ll take the audience out for a run through the changes already under way shaping coming American elections.
"We had a very good turnout — over 300, including many who had never been to any of our events before. That was one of the purposes for inviting Ray — we thought his "celebrity" would expose us to audiences who might not normally notice us. Mission accomplished! Ray was super-easy to work with, very personable and very patient with all of us who wanted pictures taken with him and autographed copies of his book. His remarks were entertaining, challenging and deep. After the formal remarks, we had a Q and A that was lively and highly interactive. All in all, I'd say the whole night was a great success. Thanks to you and your team for helping us to make it happen."